Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Time

It's pumpkin time again, and pumpkins are so fun to build a storytime around.  Our first book was Pumpkin Cat, by Anne Mortimer, which is one of those "how do pumpkins grow" books, featuring a cat and mouse duo. Another good title like this is It's Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hal.

The second book was Plumply Dumply Pumpkin, by Mary Serfozo and Valeria Petrone. Plumply Dumply has fun-to-read language ("Not a lumpy, bumpy pumpkin. Not a stumpy, grumpy pumpkin. But a sunny, scrumptious pumpkin.")  These two make a good pumpkin pair.

Also, off-theme but lots of fun, Dinosaur vs. the Library, by Bob Shea. Roar, roar!

Here are a couple of pumpkin time rhymes:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin (to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Pumpkin, pumpkin, on the ground,
How'd you get so big and round?
You started as a seed so small,
Now you are a big round ball.
Pumpkin, pumpkin, on the ground,
How'd you get so big and round?

I'm a Little Pumpkin (to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot)

I'm a little pumpkin orange and round,  (Make a big circle with your arms around your middle)
Here is my stem, and here is the ground. ( Stick one finger up on top of your head, then gesture at the ground)
When I get all cut up, don't you shout, (Draw a circle around your tummy)
Just open me up and scoop me out!  (Pretend to scoop out your innards.)

The craft today is one of my favorites. I got this from Heather Tovey, so yay Heather! 

We started with a real pumpkin.  I cut around the top, lifted off the lid, and let all the kids look at, touch, and smell the seeds inside. Most of them were happy to get their fingers into a pumpkin. (Have some wipes and paper towels handy.) After we finished the touchy-feely demonstration, we made our own pumpkin pictures.

Start with a piece of 8.5" x 11" orange card stock or construction paper.  Cut out a large pumpkin shape.

Give each child a bottle of glue, some pieces of orange or yellow yarn, and some pumpkin seeds.  They can "draw" on the paper with the glue, then decorate it with yarn and seeds.  I love the tactile aspect of this craft.

The easiest and cheapest way to get your seeds is to clean out a pumpkin or winter squash the day before. Wash and dry the seeds so that they will be ready to glue.  I used the seeds from a butternut squash that I grew this summer.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Let's Give the Library Three Big Cheers!

Today's storytime was much the same as this one about the library last year. We read Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn, and I wanted to also read Dinosaur vs. the Library by Bill Shea, but it's overdue. (Grrrr)  However, I shared a great a new book, perfect for storytime, that has nothing to do with libraries.

The book is Oh No! written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Caldecott winner Eric Rohmann. (Not to be confused with Oh No! and Oh No Not Again, by Mac Barnet and Dan Santat, which are also awesome.) This is definitely a Caldecott-worthy book. The quality of the production is outstanding, right from the dust jacket flaps and endpapers through the entire book.

A frog, chased by a tiger, falls into a deep, deep hole. He is followed by a mouse, a loris, a sun bear, and a monkey, and none of them can get out--Oh no!  Just when it looks like the tiger is about to pounce on his helpless victims, an unexpected visitor arrives to save the day. This is a perfect storytime read-aloud book.

 We also did part of the Library Cheer and talked about how great libraries are.
For our craft we made bookmarks like the one you see here.  You will need:

colored card stock
patterned paper cut a little smaller than the card stock
stickers or other cut-outs
glue and hole punch

The stars (and hearts) were cut with the Cricut machine. I cut a lot of things out by hand, but for small pieces like this a Cricut is ideal. 
The kids glued their bookmarks together and wrote their names on the back. I told the kids that if they didn't need a bookmark themselves, it would make a good gift, and one boy decided to give his to his big brother, who reads longer books.